Could Pennsylvania’s Monopoly Over The Sales Of Wine And Spirits Be Coming To An End?

The word out of Harrisburg is that meaningful legislative activity on this issue will commence in the House very soon, possibly this week. The latest version of House Bill 790 includes an amendment providing that grocery stores, big-box retailers, convenient stores and pharmacies would not be able to obtain beer licenses unless they first acquired a restaurant license. The Bill would also allow private entities to bid on 1,200 new wine and spirit licenses one year after the law’s enactment, providing beer distributors a right of first refusal of a wine and spirit license. An installment plan would also allow beer distributors to pay off the cost of a wine or spirit license over four years if they pay an additional 5 percent. The amendment also created a new license to allow grocery stores to sell unlimited amounts of wine. Additionally, the state-run wholesale operation would be auctioned off a year after the law’s enactment, where one wine and spirit wholesale license would be approved for each applicant. The prohibition on alcohol sales at gas stations would also be lifted. The Bill is expected to receive support or opposition along party lines with most Democrats lining up against the bill and most Republicans in favor. It seems this version of the long discussed Privatization effort may have some momentum, stay tuned.

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Filed under Advertising & Franchise Law, Franchise Insight, In The News, Restaurant & Hospitality Law, The Franchise Legislation Monitor

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